When drinking a decent bottle of wine, aside from my professional duties of analysing and intellectualizing said bottle (of course) I always like to think and ponder for a while on the vintage itself. Not just in a wine sense; but what was happening in the world that year, what was I up to (assuming the vintage and my lifetime coexist of course), what were my friends and family doing?
Mr.Boom has been in town these past few days and as stated before I always seem to drink well when he’s here and so on Wednesday night we maintained this tradition with a little ‘90s themed wine dinner. Just your average kind of plonk of course; DP Oenotheque and a pair of Musignys from a couple of little-known growers; Mugnier and Roumier. I jest.
A wonderful vintage in a number of wine regions, 1990 was an eventful year beyond the vine too; the reunification of Germany, the declaration of independence from the Baltic states, the launch of the Hubble space telescope and of course ‘Italia ‘90’, the greatest football tournament in the history of the world. Despite being barely out of shorts at the time, my bittersweet memories of those four balmy weeks in June and early July will stay with me for a long time. Hope, excitement, expectation and then the predictable (although I was only to learn this through future experience) feeling of disappointment at losing on penalties to ‘The Germans’, the summer of 1990 was my first taste of the highs and lows of sport.
Fortunately when tasting kit like this, the only low is when the bottle is finished.
1990 Dom Perignon Oenotheque– Off the charts. Montrachet with bubbles, to use the Galloni-ism. There is perfect balance and harmony here. Bright, buttery aromas of baked apples with absolutely perfect acidity. The palate is broad-shouldered yet displays wonderful flashes of femininity and the finish just goes on and on. A great party to the salty Iberico ham. Amazing stuff. (97 points) GR
1990 Musigny, J F Mugnier - An explosive nose of ripe summer fruits underpinned with hints of underbrush and Asian spices. Make no mistake though as these are controlled detonations rather than random blasts. Despite the maturity on show on the nose, the palate is still displaying considerably ripe tannins, firmness and some of the burly signs of youth. Immense potential though. There is real genius in the glass here. A young Paul Gascoigne perhaps? (93+ points) GR
1990 Musigny, Georges Roumier– Even greater control on both the nose and palate with the Roumier. A little more reserved, there is some real power lurking beneath the perfume and hiding beneath tannins. Still, it fills the mouth with an effortless, almost La Tache-like weightlessness. This is altogether more accomplished than the Mugnier at this stage. The wine showed more and more of itself as the night went on. This will be a fascinating wine to follow over the next twenty years. (95 points) GR
Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Champagne –In the summer of 1990 mother nature smiled and blessed many wine regions…just a shame she didn’t bless Sir Bobby Robson’s men in Italy too.
Many thanks to our guests at this unique and unforgettable dinner.